by Lucy Fyles

serene-tranquilThe Art of Mindfulness: Serene and Tranquil Coloring
Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books
Copyright: 2015
Number of designs: just under 100
ISBN-10: 1454709626
ISBN-13: 978-1454709626

This book is published and was very kindly sent to me for review by Michael O’Mara Books. It is by far the most varied title within the series. It contains a huge spectrum of images within the natural and patterned themes that these books are based on. There are images of birds, leaves, feathers, flowers, fish, trees, butterflies, turtles, weather and loads more. The patterns are also really varied from yin yang symbols to waves, zentangle clouds to tree bark style patterns and so much more.

serene-and-tranquil-2This truly is an “everything in one colouring book” sort of book. It would be fantastic for a beginner colourist, so they can find their feet and pick out genres they like to colour. This title also has the widest ranging level of intricacy and detail from teeny tiny images that you’ll need the finest of fineliners, to much chunkier images that will easily be coloured using felt-tips. The line thickness also varies drastically from spindly thin to medium/thick. This book is ideal for those of you with fluctuating conditions who can cope with intricacy some days, but need much simpler images on others. The best thing — all of that variety is in one book. This book will adapt to your concentration level; you’ll be able to find something suitable to colour no matter how good or bad you’re feeling.

The image above was coloured using Stabilo .88 fineliners which did bleed through to the reverse image.

Review Breakdown

  • Complexity: Beginner to Advanced
  • Book Size: 7.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Design Borders: none
  • Design Lines: thin to thick lines
  • Paper: thinner than average
  • Printing: double-sided
  • Binding: glue-bound

The Art of Mindfulness series is currently a set of 4, differently titled books, each containing almost 100 images, illustrated by various artists. The books are slightly smaller than A4 size, paperback and glue-bound. All of the images have a 1cm border around them, so none are lost into the spine. The paper is bright white and thin. Sadly, it does bleed when using water-based pens. There isn’t a lot of tooth, but it isn’t completely smooth, so you can blend and shade a little with coloured pencils.

The designs are printed double-sided, so you will need to be careful about what mediums you use to colour with, or make copies before coloring. The line work in each book varies from very thin to medium thickness, so this series isn’t great for those of you with poor vision or fine motor control. This is as you’d expect from mindfulness-themed books, since they require concentration. The images in the books vary in theme, but are mostly abstract designs and natural imagery of things like plants, flowers, weather, scenery etc.

All of the books are very pretty. They are ideal for people who are mentally ill or wanting to practice mindfulness. There are lots of intricate and detailed images to focus your attention on, so you’re distracted from your low and anxious thoughts. You can be in the here and now.

As far as books with a huge variety of images go, these are definitely some of the best I’ve seen. They’re all very different from each other, but also feel similar enough to be a cohesive series.

Editor’s Note:

Lucy is a UK member of my Facebook group, Coloring Books for Adults. She reviews books specifically for those suffering from mental illness. Lucy is able to bring a unique viewpoint to this target group, as both a person who suffers from her own severe anxiety disorder, and as someone who has worked with psychiatric inpatients. You can read Lucy’s blog for more information, or connect with her through Facebook.

(Since the UK uses the alternate spelling of “colour”, you’ll find “coloured pencils” and other alternate spellings used in her reviews.)

Do you have this book? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments!

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